In a effort to sell newspapers, books or something, people are bobbing up in front of our TV saying hell is not real. If this is so then Jesus must be a world-class liar as He spoke more about this subject than anyone else in the New Testament.
Luke 16:22-25 (NKJV) 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
This is Jesus talking about good and evil being rewarded – precisely what we expect of hell – a place of torment, flames, and suffering based on evil done in one’s lifetime. What is so complicated about this?
- Neither is hell a place when you and your drunken buddies stand around the piano chugging beer and singing raunchy songs. No, hell offers nothing to drink, and people are isolated from each other.
Furthermore, would you really like to spend an eternity with the hideous likes of Hitler, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao or a host of unrepentant bad guys? Heaven would not be very heavenly if these rascals shared any space with God. In addition it makes God look like a jerk to forgive these people when clearly they have neither repented nor asked for forgiveness. We know this man (above) has not gotten his life right with God because he expects Lazarus to do him a favor – selfish to the end! In this passage the man is judged not for the evil he i did, but for what he failed to do. If people repent and ask forgiveness, then grace kicks in.
- Meanwhile I would hesitate to give myself a pass, thinking “Oh I am going to be OK” when life and death may make a surprise change in your plans. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2) which means accepting who God is and what He says as true, and not thinking you will squeak through.
Finally, God sends no one to hell – it is every individual’s decision. That is the meaning of free will.
Small children cannot be answerable to free will, not until they reach the age of accountability – they don’t know enough, so don’t worry that babies are in hell. The bottom line is – where are you going? and have you made your decision?